Following his trilogy of albums titled ‘Super Foods‘ on legendary independent British label BBE Music, Australian producer Inkswel returns with the “Unity 4 Utopia” undoubtedly the most ambitious project of his career. The album showcases Inkswel’s impressive musical range jumping from modern funk, cosmic soul, hip-hop back to deep house.
I had a talk with Inkswel about the record and I asked him to discuss the impressive roster of collaborators (Steve Spacek, Recloose, Harvey Sutherland, Mark de Clive-Lowe and many more) he put together on the record and what he felt they brought to the table
Unity 4 Utopia
feat. Mark De Clive-Lowe and Misumami
@Inkswel: This joint took the place of title track late in the peace. I met Mark De Clive Lowe years ago in Melbourne, at the time I was putting on parties and he was our special guest- he absolutely destroyed it live! I was blown away by his performance, live re interpretation on the keys and drum machines meets dj set! He had the party rocking for hours, this was amazing because I was already a huge fan of his releases so seeing someone backup those great records as a performer really got me hooked on what he was doing! Its funny how perception can make you hear things differently, it really made me hear his music with a whole nother vibe, I have great respect for what Mark does, we stayed in touch over the years and I eventually flicked him the skeleton idea for this track- he turned around some funky keys asap and the joint was practically done. I then enlisted my better half Charli aka Misumami to bless the vocal side of things and it just made sense as the intro to the album!. Funny how things can fall into place so well!
feat. Harvey Sutherland and Spacek
@Inkswel: This was originally a concept I had thrown together with my live band project in mind, but this never really saw the light of day- but it sort of explains the more jazz angle I was coming with. I did the original chorus vocals and that was the initial theme for the joint, I sent it to Mike Kay aka Harvey around the same time we collaborated on the track we did on Soul Clap’s tempo dreams compilation, he came back with some dope ms20 vibes and then I added some more bits and finished the arrangement. I was sitting on the instrumental version for a while and then finally thought to hit up steve, I’ve known spacek for some time, obviously im a huge fan of his music and it was a great honour to host him at my early parties in Melbourne alongside mark pritchard and then eventually form a friendship over the years, steve is a great soul with amazing talent and im extremely honoured to have him on the album. This is probably the joint I’m the proudest of on the whole record.
@Inkswel: Funnily enough this track is the only idea on the album from old archives. I come form a hip hop background and had been sitting on this collab with Bleek from maspyke for years, we finished this in like 2008?? The track never really seemed finished to me and I came back to it last year (after finally finding the files on an old hard drive) and it seemed to finally make sense, I added some more keys and then Charli added some vocals and it finally felt complete and in place. Funny story though, originally this track had Spacek on it in around 2009 but I lost the files when my MPC was stolen (at the time I was working 50 hour weeks as an assistant chef and living with the head chef at my job, who also happened to be a drug dealer who owed some cats money, hence why my shit got jacked! ) , so its good that the track re surfaced in some shape and I’m really happy with the final vibe and super dope to hear my wife alongside one of the most slept on new york mcs on a hot beat!
feat. Colonel Red
@Inkswel: this is one of the more recent collaborations that made it on the album. I have been a mega fan of colonel red’s stuff since all the broken beat stuff of the early 2000s, he has an amazing vocal tone and is an incredibly talented songwriter. I really feel colonel is super slept on even today and should have alot more music out there! Colonel if you are reading this lets build!
feat. Mista Monk
@Inkswel: Mr Monk is probably not known to many, but I have been rolling with him since around 2001! He is one of my close friends and we first came up rapping together at cyphers and local hip hop shows back in australia. He is a great talent and probably one of the dopest and most slept on lyricists in australia. He is the lead mc in the amazing BLACK JESUS EXPERIENCE from melbourne, a modern take on afrobeat and hip hop- they are also Mulatu Astatke’s touring band, extremely dope music! I have seen monk absolutely crush other rappers in battles and his stage presence and freestyle ability is unbelievable! He is also a really good songwriter, we are definitely going to do a project eventually, so keep a look out for that! Ill also add the intro of this track is a voice recording I had on my iphone from a crazy trip I went on in japan a few years ago with some of my homies, lost in translation they actually thought my name was JAWS not Jules! Classic!
feat. Danielle Moore and Lay-Far
@Inkswel: Lay-Far is probably one of my favourite modern bboy influenced house producers and djs! He is lethal on the beats and also a really nice guy! We have been supporting each others music for some time and it was great to finally collaborate on this track together, It was a very simple process and we had the joint done super fast but it was lacking that final icing on the cake so I hit up Danielle from Crazy P and she added some super fresh vocals! A great party house track but still a little twisted!
feat. Saucy Lady
@Inkswel: Saucy lady is a vocalist I only learnt about recently, she did a great album that featured alot of different hip hop and house producers- Like J Zone and Rahaan! I really liked the variance of influence in her music and decided to hit her up! She turned the vocal around really fast and this is the final result. I wanted to rehash part of the beat from my classic SHE LIKES TECHNO track and actually flip it more in that tempo range, so this is the result. Check her latest release on the great STAR CREATURE label!
feat Kid Sublime
@Inkswel: This is one of the many jams me and kid have worked on over the years, I was a huge fan of jacobs early output on rush hour and in rednose distrikt + his amazingly slept on BASEMENT SOUL album which originally dropped on kindred spirits! I lived in amsterdam in 2008 and we hooked up on some music shit and eventually became close friends! He is one of the most talented and sincere individuals on planet earth, much love to the homie SUBLIME! Look out for his upcoming album on BBE. This track was almost entirely made on a terrible roland electric piano!
feat Dave Aju
@Inkswel: Dave is an amazing talent with some really creative and genre bending releases! I love what he does and really appreciate the bboy aesthetics and approach to his music. We collaborated before this track on the joint NO MORE SUCKAS, this ep was a little slept on, go hunt it down if you can! Super dope tracks on that one. We decided to do another joint and this is the end result, me on the beat and vocoder, Dave on the vocals, simple and fresh!
feat Recloose and Isaac Aesilli
@Inkswel: Recloose has been like a big brother to me musically, I have been listening to his music for years and we had some great times playing together back in Australia over the years, he is a remarkably talented cat but also extremely humble and down to earth! He works for serato, teaches music workshops, djs, is a father and husband and produces great music- for sometime I was reluctant to ask him to collab as I knew he was so busy but I had to ask eventually and im super proud of the track we put together. I came with a broken beat esque skeleton with drums and bass and recloose got funky on some vintage synths he had laying around at his work (he was teaching music production at a school at the time. ) It needed a final bit of energy added to the track so I hit up the amazing Isaac Aesilli of the super dope group Sorceress who gave the track that extra oomph!